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Brand You: why young people should care

October 8, 2008

A little while ago, a bunch of PR College Students from Central New York came by our agency to hear us talk about how great our lives are because we work in marketing.

Plus, we have a pretty robust PR division in our shop, so it seemed like a good stop. I think the real reason that came to see us that we’re close to Niagara Falls, and they happened to be going that way after our talk. (sometimes we take the Falls for granted, but then, it’s human nature to take the things close to us for granted.

But I digress. Because this is about brand u. When it came time for me to speak, I said,

“Your goal should be for people to enter your name in Google and have it be you. Even if they press: “I’m feeling lucky“.

You don’t need me to tell you that social networking is becoming a tool for hiring: This says it:

More than one in five employers search social networking sites to screen job candidates, according to a survey of more than 31,000 employers released by this week.

Of the hiring managers who use social networks, one-third said they found information on such sites that caused them to toss the candidate out of consideration for a job, the survey said.

At this event, one of the people I work with in PR told the class to scrub their Facebook pages of any overt partying.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

I disagree. I think partying on Facebook shows a nice balance, when balanced with a blog, or another tool that positively positions brand u as a competent professional. In advertising agencies, we like people who can party, and then show up to work and work.

Show that you know your stuff, and that you like to have fun, and you’re showing a balance that will make you stand out.

My point is simple. Think about tools like WordPress, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube, and think about how they can further your brand. Then start spending time working on it. The goal is to get the #1 spot in google for your name. And if your name is Michael Jackson or Steve Smith, figure out how to get it up there anyway. Maybe it’s Mike R Jackson, or something.

Solve it. It’s actually a classic marketing problem.

Hint: Tools that start with your name (stumbleupon, tumblr) might work even better than tools that don’t.

So good luck taking over Google.

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